Interview with designer Chantal & Daisy El Jurdi (CE), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Al Faragh Handbag.

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Interview with Chantal & Daisy El Jurdi at Tuesday 19th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
CE : Our design was inspired by the women around us who wanted to own beautiful yet functional handbags that help them solve some of the daily issues they face.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
CE : For this bag in particular, we wanted to resolve the issue of bag placement women face when they are out or when they are travelling. By designing this bag that could be hanged on the table, we provided them with a stylish solution

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
CE : We have many plans for this award winning design, one of them would be creating the same handbag in a bigger size and different colors's combinations. We also would like to develop even further the notion of this side void that is the reason behind its win.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
CE : It took us around 3 months from the moment the idea was born until the first sample was produced. A lot of trials were done before we approved the final product.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
CE : We pursued an inspiration after realizing that although there were many beautiful handbags on the market, a few of them actually tried to assess and solve some of the issues their holders face. And we wanted to be ones who design handbags with a purpose.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
CE : For the moment, our design is being produced by us. As for future plans regarding the lease or selling of production rights, it all depends on the opportunities we are presented with.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
CE : We are two sisters architects who have always been drawn to fashion. And when the opportunity of designing our own line of handbags presented itself, and we found that we have a different perspective we can bring onto the business, we decided to venture in this particular type of work.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
CE : What influenced our work and our way of designing is our architectural background. It helped us to think in a different way and always present beautiful concepts that have a purpose; a concept we have applied when designing our handbags.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
CE : Our target customers are women who like to own luxurious and fashionable items that distinguish themselves from the market by having a specific function and/or an out-of-the-box silhouette.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
CE : The idea behind the design, its unusual shape along with its unique functions are the elements that separate it from other bags available on the market.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
CE : This handbag is called "Al Faragh" which means "The Void" in Arabic. This handbag was named after its most prominent feature that makes it completely unique.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
CE : At first, we sketched the idea then after discussion and details tweaking, we drew it on Auto CAD and developed the colors' combination on Photoshop, before finally producing the first sample.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
CE : The most unique aspect of our design is the side void that allows the bag's owner to hang it on the table when having lunch or dinner. It also created two internal compartments where women can neatly organize their belongings.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
CE : We collaborated with craftsmen who work with genuine leather in order to produce the bags.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
CE : Technology helped us transform the design from an idea to an actual product that can be used.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
CE : Yes, our design was influenced by market research. After realizing there was a lack in functional bags, we conducted a survey asking women about the challenges they faced when carrying their handbags.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
CE : The major challenge we faced was creating a solid handbag that wouldn't be deformed by the side void.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
CE : After reading about the competition online, we realized that our design fitted most of the competition's criteria and requirement, we decided to submit it.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
CE : We learned a lot about the types of leather, which ones to use and which ones to avoid. We also learned what colors of handbags most women like to own, as well as the features they would like their handbags to possess.